This week, I want to tell you about new green building developments in the D.C. metropolitan area. 

I like incentive programs related to green building.  D.C. recently came out with a solar rebate program that will most definitely increase the installation of renewable energy systems:

Beginning February 23, 2009, the program will provide rebates to eligible applicants to assist in the installation of a solar photovoltaic or wind turbine renewable energy system. Additional technology rebates are forthcoming in the second quarter of 2009 as regulations are adopted. Projects may include but are not limited to the installation of systems on single- and multi-family dwellings, as well as commercial and institutional buildings. 

Of course, I have to discuss some legal implications from this program.  D.C. is relying on a tried and true enforcement mechanism, the lien:  

Rebates will remain active for a period of six months (6 months) from the date of the award. The incentive contract requires installations to be completed in 6 months. If the system is not completed within 6 months, the system owner may request in writing a six-month extension. If an extension is not requested and/or the project timeline exceeds 12 months from the award date, the applicant is to return the rebate to DDOE. Failure to return the rebate will constitute a lien on the owner’s real and personal property to secure repayment.

Filing liens on property in Washington, D.C. is not easy.  Releasing liens is even more difficult.  Are property owners and the District prepared for lien battles if problems do arise? 

Photo:  Jared Zimmerman